Internet-of-things service providers Kore and Raco merge

Kore Wireless, one of the biggest independent players in internet-of-things connectivity, is buying competitor RacoWireless. The combined companies will manage 3 million cellular connections linking everything from farm equipment to bagged ice machines.

Before the internet of things was an actual thing, companies were working on technology for what’s known as machine-to-machine (M2M) communications, which handled fleet telematics, asset tracking, payment processing and a bunch of other distinctly unsexy industrial applications. But just as the consumer internet of things has grown, so has its industrial counterpart, leading nearly every mobile carrier to launch an M2M business either themselves or through partnerships with companies like Kore and Raco.

What is now Raco was once largely the M2M division of T-Mobile US headed up by former T-Mo M2M chief John Horn, who will stay on at the merged company. Meanwhile Kore has always been independent aggregating connections from carriers across the world so its customers can offer their service globally rather than just regionally. The merger is part of a larger restructuring in which private equity firm ABRY Partners is taking a majority stake in Kore, buying up Raco for an undisclosed amount in the process.

This post was update on Thursday to clarify T-Mobile’s relationship to Raco.